Monday, October 21, 2013

Sacrifice: A Mother's Anthem

If you have ever spent anytime on an online mommy forum you know mothers will often deck it out, fighting over what truly makes one a mother. Is it giving birth, wiping a runny nose? Is someone who adopts just as much a mother as the woman providing the genes?
I will not attempt to answer these questions. It would only lead to a fight. But I will say there is one thing that makes you a mother, it’s sacrifice. A lesson I’m quickly learning.
See my six-year-old is what I call a tigger girl. Remember that cartoon with lovable winni-the-pooh and huggable piglet. What fun characters. Who wouldn’t want a child with their personality. Well, my child resembles tigger. She bounces here, and there, with no thought, destroying random objects in her path. Not even glue can keep her in her seat at school. Instead of focusing on her reading assignments, my child is off day-dreaming about what adventures superman and the power rangers are off to and no matter how much discipline my husband and I and her teachers doll out, she can’t stop interrupting to tell her latest theory or insight. She will have breakdowns for no reason at all while insisting she has lost a favorite even though we know that toy is sitting on her bed.
     For the last month four letters have been floating across my mind. Four letters I had been refusing to focus on for so long. Just such simple letters I didn’t want to accept. Those letters are ADHD.
How could four letters hold so much meaning? But they do. While a diagnosis of ADHD, isn't the end of the world nor is it as bad as hearing your child has autism or leukemia, it does attack a mother’s hope and dreams for her child.  ADHD children have high dropout, suicide, promiscuity rates. 50 percent will fail at least one class in school. It makes holding down a job harder and a mother cry because she knows her child is smart, but her little mind just can’t focus enough to read a five-minute book for a teacher.
Yes, treatment can be effective, but ever looked up the side effects for them?  Those medicine inserts could scare anyone. But what can you do? Let your child keep floundering.
My husband and I have begun the steps to get our daughter tested and treated. We have already had one doctor tell us he knows she has it and more likely OCD. And just in case we weren’t worried enough, he let us know he has never seen a child be “cured” without medicine.  
I’m already giving up more of my writing time and possible hours/traditional work setting to  help teach my daughter lessons she might be missing in school. I know the wallet will probably be getting lighter. But my little girl has a dream. She wants to be a “pet doctor.” While I can always work or write a novel, God has only given me and my husband such a short season to try and help my daughter reach her dreams. And I’m going to do what I can to make sure those dreams come true.

Josette Downey  is the christian romance author of A Time to Say Goodbye and Bonds of Tradition. She has master’s degree in English from East Carolina University, and currently works for a premier test scoring company. She is the mother of a precocious six-year-old girl, who enjoys bugs, snakes and superman.  She enjoys southern cooking, reading and exploring emerging technology, but is best defined by her devotion to her faith and the empowerment of women in the modern world.

To learn more follow her at



  1. Josie....I feel for you and what you are dealing with. As parents we aren't given promises things will be all right with our children, but knowing the One who does, helps us through these times. You sound like you're takng some good and productive steps, and your dauther sounds like a ball of energy. I trust the Lord to guide you through this time, and allow your writing to come as He wills.

  2. Josie, do not despair. I dealt with this many years ago and all turned out well. We turned to a medication for our son and it worked for him during his school day. By the time he got home it was out of his system until the next morning in time to work during school. He was on the med for about three years and as he entered 6th grade he declared that he wanted to try things without medication. He was determined that he could do it and he did! He is now grown, college educated, married, and has always held a job. Don't dwell on the horror stories that you hear just know that there is help for your child and be glad.

  3. Hey ladies thanks for the encouragement. Melanie, I love stories of kids beating them. Do you mind if I ask the name of your child's medicine. I like to look it up and see if it might be a good fit.

  4. Josie, I agree! We have a fifteen-year-old who got her learners permit in May. Next summer, she'll have her drivers license and with that new-found freedom I probably won't see her much :-( So these past few months when she asked me to do something, anything, I agreed ~ I don't know how much time I have left with her to teach her and spend precious moments with her, so I am taking every chance I get these days. I didn't get ANY writing done over the summer, but that's okay! We bonded pretty tight those two months ~ I wouldn't give that up for anything :-)

  5. Hi Josie

    My grandson has had ADHD since 3 years old. He's in high school now and doing fine. He wants to be a research scientist and has the grades to make it. ADHD can be controlled and even overcome.

  6. Hi Josie,
    We haven't dealt with ADHD, but this summer our youngest daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia. She declared God allowed her to have dyslexia so she could overcome it and learn to help others with it. She's 10. I'm so proud of how hard she's working to understand her LD and overcome it. God builds His army with imperfect people He makes perfect through Him.
    2 Corinthians 12:9

  7. I've dealt with ADHD all my life. And it has pluses. ABUNDANT energy. It's great to be 68 and have more energy than three of my friends. :-) I'm very creative...pottery, author, seamstress, artist...And I did learn how to rein in my mind and it does take a little effort. But I found when I was creating, I could focus...or reading. So give her creative way to express all that energy.
    Oh, and my granddaughter also had it. And she's channeled her energy into horses...riding for her Junior Medal this year.